Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville have been busy promoting their new Café Football outlet in Stratford Westfield this week, but they only need to look at one of their fellow Premier League stars for a reminder of just how tough it can be to succeed in the restaurant business.
Ex-Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has been the subject of headlines this week after it was reported that his two Liverpool city centre bars have gone into liquidation, owing more than £1m.
The Cafe Sports England business, which included a separate restaurant and cocktail bar, ran up debts of almost £1.2m, according to reports.
Most of the debts were owed to the Flanagan Group, parent company of City Life Projects, which owned the restaurants with Carragher. However, Carragher himself has been left £100,000 out of pocket as a result of the collapse.
Flanagan Group’s managing director, Paul Flanagan, was quoted by newspapers as saying that the firm had tried in vain to save the restaurants, which employed 40 staff.
He said: “The main creditor was the Flanagan Group, we put a lot into the business. All our staff were paid and all our suppliers are still trading with us. Unfortunately it didn’t work. It’s horrible. We did everything we could.”
Flanagan blamed Cafe Sport England’s problems on new competitors opening close to where the restaurants were based and although it rebranded one of the venues in July it was ultimately not enough to prevent the debts from mounting.
Carragher has so far declined to comment on the situation.